News about him supposedly being a racist is making the rounds again and it looks as though it could hurt him – especially if it continues to be reported uncritically that the racist screed in his 1980s newsletter was his, when in fact it was not.
I don’t know what the Paul campaign is planning to do about this, but Texas Monthly reported in October 2001:
In one issue of the Ron Paul Survival Report, which he had published since 1985, he called former U.S. representative Barbara Jordan a â€œfraudâ€ and a â€œhalf-educated victimologist.â€ In another issue, he cited reports that 85 percent of all black men in Washington, D.C., are arrested at some point: â€œGiven the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the â€˜criminal justice system,â€™ I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.â€ And under the headline â€œTerrorist Update,â€ he wrote: â€œIf you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.â€ In spite of calls from Gary Bledsoe, the president of the Texas State Conference of the NAACP, and other civil rights leaders for an apology for such obvious racial typecasting, Paul stood his ground. He said only that his remarks about Barbara Jordan related to her stands on affirmative action and that his written comments about blacks were in the context of â€œcurrent events and statistical reports of the time.â€ He denied any racist intent. What made the statements in the publication even more puzzling was that, in four terms as a U. S. congressman and one presidential race, Paul had never uttered anything remotely like this.
When I ask him why, he pauses for a moment, then says, â€œI could never say this in the campaign, but those words werenâ€™t really written by me. It wasnâ€™t my language at all. Other people help me with my newsletter as I travel around. I think the one on Barbara Jordan was the saddest thing, because Barbara and I served together and actually she was a delightful lady.â€ Paul says that item ended up there because â€œwe wanted to do something on affirmative action, and it ended up in the newsletter and became personalized. I never personalize anything.â€
His reasons for keeping this a secret are harder to understand: â€œThey were never my words, but I had some moral responsibility for them . . . I actually really wanted to try to explain that it doesnâ€™t come from me directly, but they campaign aides said thatâ€™s too confusing. â€˜It appeared in your letter and your name was on that letter and therefore you have to live with it.â€™â€ It is a measure of his stubbornness, determination, and ultimately his contrarian nature that, until this surprising volte-face in our interview, he had never shared this secret. It seems, in retrospect, that it would have been far, far easier to have told the truth at the time.
Ron Paul is not a racist. He is an individualist. An individualist with a PR problem.
(Thanks, Crossed Pond)
Update: Free Market News has more. (Thanks Ron S.)